This Redness-Reducing Facial Spray Is More Essential Than My Moisturizer

Dermatologists explain how hypochlorous acid can treat redness and acne, and suggest some more products that use it.
Hypochlorous acid is an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial ingredient that's found naturally in the body's white blood cells.
Amazon and Prequel
Hypochlorous acid is an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial ingredient that's found naturally in the body's white blood cells.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with trending skin care products and deducing whether they’re actually worth incorporating into your routine, I don’t blame you.

But one ingredient that’s gone viral on TikTok is worth paying attention to: hypochlorous acid. It’s a soothing, potent antimicrobial — a “natural disinfectant” that’s found in our body’s white blood cells, according to Dr. Samer Jaber, a board-certified dermatologist at Washington Square Dermatology in New York City.

Similarly, Dr. Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist and a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Cornell, told HuffPost in an email that hypochlorous acid calms inflammation and repairs the skin’s barrier.

Hypochlorous acid stands apart because of its wide breadth of applications, while being gentle and non-irritating enough for routine use. It can help treat eczema and dermatitis, reduce redness, calm breakouts and strengthen the skin barrier, particularly during cold, dry weather, according to both dermatologists. But hypochlorous acid “is so well tolerated that it is even used to treat blepharitis, which is inflammation of the eyelids,” Jaber said.

As an avid user of hypochlorous acid myself — I consider it more essential to my skin care routine than my moisturizer — you can’t go wrong incorporating this gentle yet hardworking ingredient into your lineup. I use it twice daily to calm my sensitive, cystic acne-prone skin and to cleanse my easily irritated eyelids. I also deal with periorial dermatitis, a facial rash that’s similar to rosacea, and hypochlorous acid is the only ingredient that I’ve found has made a noticeable difference for me besides oral medication. It’s so helpful for me that I make sure I never run out.

Garshick recommended applying hypochlorous acid products “after cleansing, prior to any serums or moisturizers” or “mid-day over makeup or post-workout.” Sprays make it extra easy to apply. And remember, as Jaber noted: “Start gradually and slowly when incorporating any ingredient into your skin care routine, including hypochlorous acid.”

We’ve rounded up the best hypochlorous acid products on the market, as recommended by dermatologists. Read on for our favorites.

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Tower 28's super popular "SOS" hypochlorous acid spray
"Tower 28 is probably the most well-known and well-marketed [hypochlorous acid spray]," Dr. Jaber wrote via email.

"It helps to strengthen and soothe the skin while helping to reduce redness and inflammation as well as skin sensitivity," Garshick said. "Because it also has antibacterial properties, it can be helpful for those dealing with breakouts and the spray formulation makes it a great option for post-workout. It can be used all year round."

It's also beloved by HuffPost editors, including shopping writers Tessa Flores and Lourdes Avila Uribe.

"I've been using the Tower28 spray for almost 6 months and have come to be absolutely dependent on it. I have combination, acne-prone skin that can be temperamental with seasonal changes and gets easily irritated, so I was hesitant to try a new ingredient. Luckily, my skin took to it immediately," said Uribe. "Not only does it help with hydration and give me a nice glow, but it has made a noticeable difference with my breakouts. I use it after workouts and after I wash my face in the evenings and feel fresh and clean."

Flores also uses Tower 28's hypochlorous acid spray daily. "I use this every morning and night between my skin care products to help trap in moisture and optimize absorption, as well as use [it] regularly on my hands whenever I feel [an eczema] flare-up coming along," she said.
The Briotech hypochlorous spray, an affordable option
"The Briotech and SkinSmart [options] are similar [to the Tower 28 version] with a lower price point," Jaber told HuffPost. Briotech's spray is formulated with deionized water, pure salt and hypochlorous acid to gently yet effectively soothe irritated, red skin. It's also popular for healing piercings.
The SkinSmart "Wound Therapy" spray, another budget-friendly pick
This option is also similar to Tower 28's hypochlorous acid spray at a lower price, according to Dr. Jaber. Made with 0.18% hypochlorous acid, ionized water and salt, SkinSmart's spray is designed to target bacteria without disrupting your body's healing process, whether you're healing from acne, rashes, cuts or other wounds.
Lomalux Eczemol, an FDA-cleared spray for treatment of dermatitis
"Working to alleviate dry and itchy skin, this spray is FDA-cleared for atopic dermatitis, first- and second-degree burns and radiation dermatitis," Dr. Garshick wrote. "It has been shown to improve healing and also helps to reduce bacteria, inflammation and helps to calm itching. It can be used two times daily or as needed and is safe for all ages."
The National Rosacea Society-accepted Prequel Universal Skin Solution
"Accepted by the National Rosacea Society, this spray contains hypochlorous acid, electrolyzed water and a soothing mineral concentrate to help calm irritated skin," said Garshick. "In addition to calming the skin, it can help to support the skin barrier and improve hydration. It is fragrance-free and safe for those with sensitive or eczema-prone skin."
Magic Molecule
Magic Molecule's "The Solution," my personal favorite
"This helps to soothe the skin whether it’s from a sunburn, skin irritation, cuts or scrapes," Dr. Garshick wrote. "It can be used as needed and helps to reduce bacteria, redness and calm the skin."

This version is my personal favorite thanks to its purported stability and FDA-cleared formula. I keep a bottle on my vanity at all times and make sure to never run out!

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